Teen Ayuyus move training sessions to Oleai pitch


CNMI Boys U18 National Team players train at the Oleai Sports Complex Field in preparation for next month’s Asian Football Confederation U16 Championship 2020 Qualifiers in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The CNMI Boys U15 National Team will train at the Oleai Sports Complex Field in the last two weeks of its preparation for next month’s Asian Football Confederation U16 Championship 2020 Qualifiers.

Coach Michiteru Mita has moved the Teen Ayuyus’ practice sessions to the Oleai pitch from the NMI Soccer Training Center, as they have to get use to a natural grass field—which is the kind of turf available in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Southeast Asian country will host the Group G qualifier from Sept. 14 to 22.

Northern Mariana Islands Football Association has already informed Northern Marianas Sports Association of the new training schedule and has also reached out to Marianas Rugby Club, which is using the facility for its practices and scrimmages. NMIFA has cleared the pitch, making it easier for other groups to use the facility. However, the association has requested MRC to allow the national youth team to use the field on Sept. 5.

The Teen Ayuyus will have their last training session on Sept. 10 and leave for Jakarta on Sept. 12. The CNMI players will go up against the hosts, China, Brunei, and the Philippines. The top finisher in Group G and 10 other pools plus the five best runners-up will qualify in the finals that will take place from Sept. 3 to 16, 2020.

Meanwhile, Mita said the three matches they played in the Marianas Invitational Football Tournament were good warm-ups for several U15 players who suited up for the CNMI Boys U18 National Team.

Oliver Fajardo, Kohtaro Goto, Merrick Toves, Kaden Church, Brian Lubao, and Jim Maniago played in the three-day tournament with the former scoring the winning goal in the squad’s thrilling 4-3 victory over the highly competitive Beijing Elite Core Club. The U18 crew also defeated Beijing 97 Return United Football Club and the M-League All-Stars to rule the tournament.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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